Minneapolis: A Hotbed of Recruiting for the Islamic State

The following report from Erick Stakelbeck at CBN concerns the recruitment of Somalis in Minneapolis for the jihad in Iraq and Syria. Mr. Stakelbeck also takes a look at the phenomenon of “self-radicalization” — which, along with the mujahideen returning from the jihad in the Middle East, poses a significant security threat to Western nations.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Below are excerpts from the accompanying article at CBN:

ISIS in America: Radicalized in the Heartland

MINNEAPOLIS — Islamic State has engaged in a reign of terror across the Middle East, raping, pillaging, and beheading its way to a new caliphate.

Now a growing number of U.S. citizens are leaving America to join the brutal ISIS army. These recruits are being radicalized on U.S. soil and they may eventually return home.

It’s hard to imagine America’s heartland as a breeding ground for terrorism. Yet when news emerged that two U.S. citizens had been killed in Syria fighting alongside ISIS, the path led back to, of all places, Minnesota.

The two men were part of a growing number of young Muslims from Minneapolis and St. Paul who have answered the call of jihad (“holy” war).

At least a dozen young Muslims from the Twin Cities area have left their homes to travel to the Middle East and join ISIS. Some of them worshipped at the al-Farooq Mosque in a quiet suburb of Minneapolis.

An Egyptian-American man allegedly recruited young Somali Muslims from the mosque and helped send them to Syria.

Mosque officials say they banned Amir Meshal earlier this year when they learned he was preaching jihad. The suspected terror recruiter remains at large.

“There is an organization that makes this happen,” former sheriff Bob Fletcher told CBN News. “But usually there is one principal person that I call ‘the Guide’ that can take this person in this ideological state and guide them to Syria or wherever it might be.”

Fletcher is the former sheriff of Ramsey County, which includes the city of St. Paul. He now works with Somali leaders to battle radicalism in their Twin Cities community that’s seen dozens of young men travel overseas in recent years to join terrorist groups.

“They need to procure travel documents; they need to raise money, usually somewhere in the area of $4,000-$5,000 to help facilitate all the travel that takes place and plus, they want to have money,” Fletcher explained.

“And they need to make sure someone is purchasing the tickets — that requires a credit card of some sort. And they need a driver and a facilitator to get them to the airport because they need to make sure they get on the plane versus not getting on the plane,” he said.

The recent deadly attacks against Canadian soldiers and the Canadian parliament by ISIS sympathizers were another reminder of the chaos that just a handful of terrorists can cause on Western soil.

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